Honors & News
December 12, 2012
Upstate Stem Cell cGMP Facility Opens
Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D.
The stem cell clean room that opened Wednesday at the University of Rochester Medical Center is a critical step toward therapies that, among other things, may one day help to restore the crushed limbs of soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, university officials said.
All sorts of now-incurable illnesses and injuries — from cancer to severed spinal cords — may be the eventual beneficiaries of work done at the new Upstate Stem Cell cGMP Facility, located at UR's DelMonte Neuromedicine Research Institute.
The clean room, the first of its kind in western New York, officials said, was paid for with $3.5 million from the Empire Stem Cell Board, created several years ago to support research using cells that have shown promise in regenerating lost bone and tissue and treating illnesses.
One of the critical barriers to moving cell-based therapies into clinical trials is the requirement that these cells be manufactured in a facility that meets strict federal requirements,Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D., chair of the medical center's Department of Microbiology and Immunology and author of the state grant application, said.
Without this resource, much of this science gets stuck in the lab.
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